Connecting Creativity to Daily Life!
Incorporated in 1974 as a not-for-profit organization, the Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon, Connecticut, is dedicated to the belief that artistic expression and creativity are vital to daily life. FVAC connects the community to the creative process by offering arts education for people of all ages, supporting and encouraging working artists, and serving as a community resource for promoting the arts. The Arts Center is a vibrant arts community that enables visitors to experience the entire creative process, from seeing artists at work to viewing finished creations in a gallery to learning the skills necessary to create works of their own.
The Farmington Valley Arts Center’s mission is to provide quality education in, through and about the arts by supporting the entire creative process. “Connecting creativity to daily life” is the primary goal of all Arts Center offerings.
For nearly 40 years, the FVAC, centrally located just off Route 44 at 25 Arts Center Lane in Avon Park North, has been a hub within the Farmington Valley for those pursuing artistic endeavors. In the early 1970s, Stanley D. Fisher, President of the FIP Corporation, converted existing industrial buildings into offices in what is now known as Avon Park North. Fisher was instrumental in guiding the formation of artist studio space in an available 15,000-square-foot brownstone building, creating the Farmington Valley Arts Center.
The Arts Center was incorporated in 1974 as a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization. The Center’s original mission was to bring about greater public awareness of practicing, professional artists and to further quality arts education and exposure to dedicated artists and their works. In 1986, the studios building and adjacent administrative offices were purchased, and in 1988, the Fisher Gallery, named for the Arts Center’s founder, opened its doors in its current location within the complex.
A significant expansion of the FVAC’s educational programming took place in 1994 with the renovation of classrooms rented from the Town of Avon in the former Towpath School, just outside Avon Park North on Route 10/202. The demolition of Towpath School in 2006 necessitated returning educational programming to the FVAC main campus.
In 2000, a 10-month, $250,000 renovation project transformed the Fisher Gallery into one of the region’s most beautiful and flexible gallery/educational/performance spaces. That year also saw the debut of the Esther Drezner Visitors’ Gallery, which is located amongst the on-site artists’ studios. Today, the Visitors’ Gallery hosts intimate exhibitions of work by regional artists and serves as a year-round retail space featuring inspired, handcrafted gifts.
In recent years, the FVAC has endured the economic downturn that universally impacted the non-profit sector and affirmed its commitment to fostering the highest levels of human creativity and initiative. The Arts Center remains one of a select few regional and national arts organizations that offers a comprehensive spectrum of educational programming: Thousands benefit from the FVAC’s assortment of arts-related programs and opportunities each year.
The FVAC will be a vibrant component of Avon Village Center, Ensign Bickford Realty’s planned new development featuring 500 apartments and condominiums, small retail stores, restaurants, offices and a 14.5-acre park.
Board of Directors, 2012
Roy C. David
Jennifer Keuch DeGraaf